Dumbo movie review: An eternally ageless magic

Dumbo movie still
Dumbo movie still

DUMBO movie review is here. Releasing in India on March 29 2019, the movie is based on the novel by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. Back after more than seven decades, DUMBO is one of Walt Disney's cutest, oldest and most loved animated films. The 2019 version is helmed by the acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton and stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin. Does the Tim Burton’s version is able to make us fly high by its magic? Let’s find out in DUMBO movie review.

Immediate reaction when the end credits of DUMBO roll
After FRANKENWEENIE, director Tim Burton delivers a picture that makes him, Disney, the lovers of family animation and emotional sagas happy. With a dash of extra luck, the decision makers of the Academy awards may add joy to the happiness.

The Story of DUMBO
Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) recruits former champion horse rider/roping star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus, he gets DUMBO during an act which goes wrong. But the baby elephant is god gifted, his oversized ears are his wings and when they discover that DUMBO can fly things for the circus, Max and DUMBO change. An influential owner of dream world circus V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) recruits Max and his entire unit for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture. A charming aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), joins DUMBO in a never seen before act. But there is something beneath the glitterati and the grand splendor of the carnival called Dreamland.

Highlights
Tim Burton’s DUMBO is different from the 1941original. The original was animated and the new one is live action, the decades old one had songs, this one isn’t a musical. It’s an undeniable fact that there is something endearing about elephants and the movie tries to cash in on the universally accepted cuteness of elephants. A baby elephant makes it much better. Set in 1918, Tim Burton gets the production design by Rick Heinrichs right. Colleen Atwood’s costumes are fantastic and the cute CGI DUMBO by Richard Stammers is a take home. But all the technical finesse is fruitless unless it’s not tied with an absorbing emotional chord and here Tim Burton and Ehren Kruger’s make sure those audiences who have a heart irrespective of their age feel for DUMBO and his Mom. The scene where his mother labeled as "mad" mother elephant, chained inside a dilapidated boxcar, cradling her new baby with her trunk, through the prison bars, makes you emotional. When DUMBO sucks up an entire trunk full of water and teaches the mischievous young bullies in the crowd during his astonishing act, the kid in you will jump with joy. When DUMBO decides to rescue Milly and Joe knowing that this is obviously going to happen, you are thrilled and filled with emotion.

Performances
Colin Farrell is competent. Michael Keaton is menacing. Danny DeVito is fantastic. Eva Green is all grace, charm and strength. Nico Parker is endearing. Finley Hobbins is cute. Roshan Seth has his moments.

Flaws
Predictable story line, a certain section will criticize Tim Burton for playing safe and being too good and pleasant. Those who don,t appreciate old school story telling may find it a bit stretched.

Final words
In 1941, Walt Disney Studios fourth feature film, DUMBO bagged the Oscar for best music and in 1947 bagged the Cannes award for best animated feature. The 2019 version by Tim Burton removes the mice and mike (songs) but the stays true to the heart strings. Having everything that Disney can offer for a satisfying family outing – gorgeous sets, costumes, family values, mother son bonding, with a circus and a lovingly cute flying baby elephant to add on. It’s magic!!. Experience it with your near and dear ones.

Rating 4/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Actor: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito
  • Actress: Eva Green
  • Release Date : 29 Mar 2019
  • Movie Duration : 1 hr 52 mins